Entertainment

Grooveshark, U.S.-based free music streaming site, shuts down after making 'very serious mistakes'

Grooveshark users looking to stream their favourite tunes for free will find the website shuttered after the controversial U.S.-based music streaming service settled a lengthy battle with record labels over copyright infringement.

The controversial music streaming agreed to closed doors in settlement with record labels

Grooveshark users looking to stream their favourite tunes for free will find the website shuttered after the controversial U.S.-based music streaming service settled a lengthy battle with record labels over copyright infringement.

The Grooveshark logo as it appeared on the company's Facebook page. The U.S.-based music-streaming service agreed to has agreed to a legal settlement with the major record companies that includes shutting down of all operations. (Facebook/Grooveshark)
"We started out nearly 10 years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music," reads a statement posted on Grooveshark.com on Thursday. "But despite best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes.

"We failed to secure licences from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the services," the message continues.

"That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation."

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said Universal Music, Sony and Warner were behind the legal action. 

"This is an important victory for artists and the entire music industry," the trade group said in a statement. "For too long, Grooveshark built its business without properly compensating the artists, songwriters and everyone else who makes great music possible."

35 million users at its peak

The ad-funded service, launched by Escape Media in 2006, claimed about 35 million users at its peak. Users were free to upload digital audio files, which could be streamed and organized in playlists.

Grooveshark employees were also instructed to upload songs, including tracks by Jay-Z and Madonna, resulting in a New York federal judge finding the company guilty of copyright infringement in 2014.

As part of the new settlement, Escape Media also agreed to "wipe clean" all of the record companies' copyrighted works off its servers and hand over ownership of the website.

​They also turned over rights to their mobile apps, intellectual property, and all of Grooveshark's patents and copyrights.

The now-defunct service also urged users to turn to legal sources of music.


Grooveshark users found this message posted on its website Thursday. The controversial music streaming service agreed to close its doors after lengthy legal battle with rights holders. (Grooveshark.com)

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